The universe is largest conceivable structure that mankind is able to conceive. The notion of a universe so vast that we barely know about truly humbles the existence of our life. However, of all things in this universe, what is the largest structure that humans have observed? The video below introduces the Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall to be the largest known structure in the entire universe.
Discovered in November of 2013, the Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall was discovered as a cluster of galaxies bound together by gravity about 10 billion light years away and another 10 billion light years to cross. What do these numbers mean and imply?
Assuming you could travel at light speed, it would take you 10 billion years to reach the edge of the Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall. This enormous distance implies that this structure was created only 4 billion years after the Big Bang occurred. However, for a structure created so soon after the Big Bang this galaxy cluster exceeds the size limit for the acceptable size range according to astrophysicists. As one of the astronomers who first discovered this structure, Dr. Jon Hakkila, an astrophysics professor at the College of Charleston in South Carolina claims that “the Her-CrB GW is larger than the theoretical upper limit on how big universal structures can be.”
This structure relates to the piece in the African Cosmos exhibit in which an artist collaborates with NASA astronomers in order to create the video which zooms in on a 1km square in the sky. This shows the vast infinite of the galaxies and starts that are beyond our reach. To imagine that so many structures exist in just a square of our size, gives perspective into imagining the magnitude of the 10 billion light year sized Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall.
There is no doubt that this structure exists somewhere out there in the universe. Perhaps this record setting size will challenge the way scientists view the universe and revise the old data. If you do recall one of the earlier posts on the Big Bang, there is a constant renewal of true and false knowledge in our culture and scientific community. Hopefully this discovery will help us reach a new vantage point on understanding our place in the massive openness of space.